Mary Gothard recounts that the Transition event called “The Power of Just Doing Stuff” held at Throop Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church on October 14th and featuring Transition co-founder Rob Hopkins was “over the top.” She continues:
“The church was packed with people and all were trading cards and information. The church told us that they had not seen that many people in the building since the 70′s. They had a lemonade stand on the patio, tours of the garden, (and) 15 featured Transition groups from around our area.”
Transition Pasadena co-founder David Cutter was kind enough to answer some questions about the event and the transition concept in general:
HP: What drew you to the Transitions event?
DC: Speaking as a co-founder of Transition Pasadena and an event organizer, I was drawn to transition by the idea of having fun while saving the world. All of the activism that I have been involved in up to that point was understandably serious but with no attempt to care of fellow activists. Also missing was a vision of what were were for.
HP: What was the goal of this event?
DC: Speaking very generally, the purpose of this event was to draw members of our community to hear a timely message about the need for transitioning our way of life and to provide an environment where people could experience community life as it was in some earlier time. Fun and connecting.
HP: What were some of the highlights?
DC: Rob Hopkins’ speech and Q&A; the family-like gathering of 250+ members of our community; display tables of partner organizations.
HP: As an integral part of Transition Pasadena, what do you foresee, hope for, and/or are working towards for our area?
DC: Pasadena, being a hotbed of activism, has a great opportunity to lead this post industrial transition. All of us as individuals will have to start reforming our lives in ways that are sustainable. I don’t believe that it’s black or white. One makes personal choices based on your life and your needs. I ride my bike and hardly drive anymore because my work and personal tastes made that choice easy. It wouldn’t be for someone else. Going vegan is another example that is easy for some but not for others. Pick something easy and begin. Build on it and add other changes as you go along. We are in a marathon. You have to make your personal life sustainable as well.
The main immediate steps are:
- Relocalizing all aspects of community life.
- Building resilience.
- Building your Community through alternative economies moving toward the gift economy.
- Take that Community Power and Apply it to community wide (or larger) projects.
In our race to transition, a fundamental factor in our success will be each of us grappling with our own shift in consciousness. Transition represents a set of ideas that go beyond efficiency. Peak oil and environmental devastation are only two results of our ingrown need to be efficient. We all have the sense that our species is on the path toward human extinction. A contributing factor is precisely this efficiency paradigm.
An efficient mind set doesn’t necessarily produce efficient results. Factories are a lot more efficient than making things by hand. We now have lots of cheap goods that fall apart quickly, as opposed to treasured objects that stay in family use for generations. Factories are more efficient(in some respects), but they lack other important qualities.
It’s going to take a miracle for mainstream human industrial society to move off its current path. By miracle, I don’t mean the intercession of an all powerful deity, but rather events that are inexplicable from our current perspective. A shift in consciousness can shift our perspective and produce events that are not explainable. We might call those events miracles.
Transition Pasadena is a community action group working to connect, inspire, and support individuals and neighborhoods using the Transition Model to build resilient communities. Founded in 2010, our award-winning projects include Throop Learning Garden and Repair Café Pasadena. We also host talks, potluck gatherings, re-skilling workshops, and film screenings. Learn more about the Transition Movement here.
Altadena resident, artist, and avid gardener Mary Gothard with Transition co-founder Rob Hopkins: